Law to protect NHS staff gets to next stage

Legislation that will make it a specific criminal offence to assault an emergency services worker has passed its crucial second reading in parliament.

The Emergency Workers (Protection) Bill would mean that people who ‘assault or impede’ workers such as firefighters, ambulance staff, nurses and doctors, could face up to a year in prison and a £5,000 fine.

Public sector union Unison has long been pushing for a law to protect NHS workers akin to those used to protect police officers.

The Bill essentially mirrors the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act introduced by the Scottish Parliament last May.

The Bill has now been passed to a Standing Committee for further scrutiny by MPs.

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